Introduction to Veterinary Medicine

The diseases of our domestic animals, which admit of cure, yield to as promptly to Homoeopathic medicines as those of man. There is a close identity between the physical organisations of the rational and irrational creatures, and whatever is capable of raising the physical condition of the former, is also, no doubt, capable of similarly influencing that of the latter….



As our Manual will doubtless fall into the hands of many who are unacquainted with that method of treatment known as the Homoeopathic, we shall briefly advert, by way of introduction, to some of its more prominent features; and at the same time state a few of the advantages which would accrue from its more extended and general adoption. Nor will these remarks be out of place in a Veterinary Guide, since they apply to the treatment of the inferior creatures, as well as to human beings.

The advantages of Homoeopathy are not the exclusive property of man; the irrational animals, happily, share the blessings of this great gift of God to His creatures. The diseases of our domestic animals, which admit of cure, yield to as promptly to Homoeopathic medicines as those of man. There is a close identity between the physical organisations of the rational and irrational creatures, and whatever is capable of raising the physical condition of the former, is also, no doubt, capable of similarly influencing that of the latter.

The cause of humanity, therefore, demands that the mild and merciful measures of Homoeopathy should be substituted for a practice which has long been a byword for whatever is rude, revolting, and barbarous. Our useful domestic animals have too long been in the hands of ignorant and designing men, who, under the pretence of understanding their diseases, inflict nameless tortures upon the helpless brutes; not for the purpose of curing their diseases, nor merely to impress the owners of the animals with the idea that they possess marvellous skill; but mainly with the view of justifying extravagant charges. The treatment of the diseases and accidents of animals should be conducted on principles as humane and scientific as those applied to man; and it is our object to promote these beneficial results.

HOMOEOPATHY is a system of curing all curable diseases, whether in man or the inferior animals, by the agency of small doses of those medicines which, when exhibited in large repeated doses, are capable of producing in the healthy body symptoms similar to those produced by the disease in the sick body. Or the principle may be thus more briefly expressed, –Similia Similibus curantur; that is, like is cured by like.

A little reflection will show the philosophy of this principle. The symptoms which arise in disease are not the disease itself; but are to be regarded, probably, as the efforts of nature, which always exerts itself to exterminate the disease,, and to restore the balance of the system. Every disease develops symptoms peculiar to itself; and the first inquiry of the truly scientific practitioner is, “In what direction is nature working to remove the disease and restore health?”

Having observed the character of nature’s efforts, he then seeks an agent that will call into action the same class of functions which nature is already employing for her own deliverance; and the curative power of this agent depends upon their it possesses of inducing similar symptoms to those developed by nature when suffering from disease. For instance, a person having exposed himself, takes cold, and fever results. The fever cannot be regarded as the cold, seeing that it came after it, but is a phenomenon, or symptom put on by nature in her efforts to remove the condition induced by the cold. Hence 2common sense dictates, that, if we would aid nature in her difficulty, we must act in perfect harmony with her; and not oppose or cripple her appliances.

To borrow a familiar illustration, we must lift just where nature is lifting. She must furnish the indications, and we must second hand efforts, by working in subserviency to her. The great secret of the healing art is to obtain familiarity with the symptomatic phenomena of nature in any disease, and then to become acquainted with the curative properties of the various remedial agents, so as to be able to administer them in harmony with this true guiding principle.

In the instance just referred to, the case of the person suffering from fever, Aconitum would be an appropriate medicine, because Aconitum given to a person in health in repeated doses, would produce feverish symptoms; consequently it acts upon the same class of vital functions that nature has already employed to rid herself on the disease. So in regard to the medicines in the whole Materia Medica; there is a harmony between the two great powers of these substances – their power of producing disease in the human body when administered in large doses, and their power, when given in small doses, of removing similar diseases arising from other causes.

1 The term is composed of two Greek words, meaning “like” and “affection”

The Homoeopathic law is declared by the illustrious Founder to be the law of healing, and, therefore, of wide and universal application. After seventy years’ experience, a host of medical men, many of them of great intelligence, high principle, and close observation, have amply confirmed the statement of Hahnemann; and this law is now adhered to, as true and unfailing, by tens of thousands of intelligent persons in every civilised portion of the globe.


1st.__ IT ONLY GIVES ONE REMEDY AT A TIME. The confusion resulting from mixing different substances in one prescription is avoided; and the pure action of each separate drug is ascertained. Every remedy has an action peculiar to itself; and it cannot but happen, when several drugs are introduced into the system at the same time, that they interfere with each other.

It, under such circumstances, good is effected, it is quite impossible to determine which one, or how many out of the number, have contributed to the result. Or, it no good follow, and it be necessary to alter the prescription, then it must be also equally difficult to know what change to make, what portions to omit, what new ones to add. In Homoeopathy we only give one medicine at a time; its action upon the system is then simple and unconflicting; nor are we any longer in doubt as to what is doing good.

2nd.__ SMALL DOSES. Homoeopathy does not, however, mean a small dose, as it is often supposed to do. The grand principle –that which forms the basis of the science –like curing like, irrespective of the quantity of the dose. The law, therefore, as a simple proposition, takes no cognisance of the dose; that was an after discovery –merely a consequence deduced from demonstrations on the principle itself. Hahnemann, after he had discovered the science, employed doses of the usual quantity.

Experience and further investigation, however, taught him that smaller doses were not only sufficient, but that they were, when frequently administered, more efficient that large ones. Apart from this, it is a matter of perfect indifference to Homoeopathic practitioners whether they administer doses of one or fifty drops each. Of doses of fifty drops were more efficient in curing disease than those of one or two drops, Homoeopaths would assuredly administer the former rather than the latter.

We will suggest two reasons why small doses, administered in strict harmony with the Homoeopathic law, are efficient:- First, because they are exactly suited to the exalted susceptibility of the diseased part, and action upon the same class of functions that nature has already called to her aid; and, secondly, because they act directly on the part which requires to be influenced, that nor on other parts. Their force is not, therefore, expended on healthy parts.

3rd.–HOMOEOPATHY ACTS ONLY ON DISEASED PARTS. In diseases of the brain, for example, the bowels are not operated on by purgatives; or the liver, mouth, and bones, by mercury; or the skin by blisters; but such substances are administered as have been proved to operate directly on the brain itself. So in diseases of the chest; the bowels, liver, and skin are undisturbed, and that part only acted upon in which disease exists. Under such treatment, disease cannot be produced in healthy parts, and the disappearance of the disease is a certain sign that it is absolutely cured.

4th.–HOMOEOPATHY IS NOT MERE FAITH. The success of the system in the cure of the diseases of irrational animals proves this. In strict truth, it is opposed to the general belief. Persons are generally slow to believe in Homoeopathy; and seldom have recourse to it, at first, without doubts and misgivings. The benefits which they derive are not because of, but in opposition to, their belief. Their faith grows and is confirmed only as their cure progresses and is complete.

A distinguished veterinary surgeon, Mr.Haycock, who is well acquainted with the old and the new systems of medicine, says of Homoeopathy:- “It cures disease more quickly; it does so without leaving any injurious effects upon the constitutional powers; it saves more animals, and it costs less.” It cannot be contended that the subjects of the curative powers of Homoeopathy here referred to – horses, cattle, sheep, etc. – are influenced in their recovery either by faith or imagination!

Edward Harris Ruddock
Ruddock, E. H. (Edward Harris), 1822-1875. M.D.

Author of "The Stepping Stone to Homeopathy and Health,"
"Manual of Homoeopathic Treatment". Editor of "The Homoeopathic World."